gotta be curious about Petr Kropotkin!? listened to a ‘in our time’ about him last night (link below)… a fascinating character!
reminded me that he had a plaque in kemp town I’d often cycle past (near steves old street?)
the little i knew of him before would have been gleaned from ‘Anarchism for Beginners’ a comic book guide perused back at uni… still somewhere in the loft I should imagine!
a polymath he’d give a lecture on Anarchism one day, the next would be Science and Anthropology, followed by Russian Literature!
his theories on mutual aid did much to counteract the nonsense of social darwinism… or, possibly, the subsequent rancid bile of Ayn Rand
i’d say the main heirs of his thought, and anarchism generally, are the Green Movement… self organising, human sized, land based communities, who cooperate with other communities in a non hierarchical manner… whats not to like!
tho many of the straight edge punks i used to know would claim him as one of theirs, but, ha, they’d dispute most things
the best novel I’ve read trying to imagine an anarchist society, ‘the dispossesed’ by the genius ursula k le guin… written back in the seventies… check it out
would i read a book by kropotkin? not blooming likely… yawn, i’m far too busy pfaffing on social media… tho i think i’ll read conrads ‘secret agent’ again, such a fascinating mileu
i love ‘in our time’, bitesize, 1 hour of 3 academics pondering, guided by melvin, perfect for anyone intellectually omnivorous!
iain: Steve mentioned this plaque in a separate conversation a few months back. I did a module in anarchism at uni and Kropotkin was in there of course. When you think about mutual aid it’s so obvious but driven over by the right in zealous need to put the individual at front and centre of all advances. I will take up your book suggestion.
Ooh a whole module on anarchism sounds lush… Sadly as a chemistry student the only interesting lectures I went too were gatecrashing Freud talks in the psychology dept… The lecturer did seem a bit bewildered as to who I was… Crackpot Kropotkin mbe
Just noticed what a wonderfully schlocky cover ‘the dispossessed’ has! You’d be cross (‘the disappointed’) if you were looking for an erotic space romp?!
I read tons of sci fi as a teenager, obvs much of it is dross, but at it’s best, and Ursula k le guin is certainly that, some profoundly different ways of looking at the world x